Data driven

Features - Cover Story: State of the Industry

Exclusive L&L research on the state of the landscape market and what’s coming in 2015.

October 13, 2014

It’s a good time to be a landscaper. Revenue and profits are on the rise and the long-dormant construction market is starting to come back to life. Homeowners and property managers are once again investing in their properties. More contractors say they’ll turn a profit this year, and the national average net profit is up a point to 11 percent. The average owner’s salary is up 11 percent from last year to a national average of $68,414.

According to our research, in 2014 the average landscaper employs 15 people year-round and does just more than $1 million in annual revenue, of which he sees a net profit of 11 percent.

But, not all bodes well. Landscapers across the country complain of a lack of qualified employees – both for crews and management positions. Persistent drought in the west and south has put pressure on the entire green industry to get smarter about how it manages water. And the specter of the Affordable Healthcare Act still looms over many contractors. Read on to see how contractors across the country are dealing with these and other problems.

But before we begin, some housekeeping: For the data in the pages that follow, we report the national average for landscapers, then drill down and split responses between firms doing more or less than $200,000 a year in revenue. Maintenance means mowing, trimming, etc. Design/build is hardscaping and installation work, and lawn care is chemical application. – Chuck Bowen




Survey methodology
Lawn & Landscape partnered with ABR Research, a nationwide independent research company, to conduct our 2014 State of the Industry Report survey. An internet-based survey was sent to a random sample of L&L subscribers. The responses were gathered during July and August. In all, a total of 602 surveys were completed. The margin of error is calculated to be no greater than +/- 4 percentage points at a confidence level of 95 percent.